Water softener not removing all water hardness


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Old 05-18-17, 08:35 AM
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Water softener not removing all water hardness

Hello all,

I have a fleck 5600 econominder water softner along with what I think is a 24,000 grain tank, not sure though. I bought the house in 2015 and the softner was already installed, so I don't know how old it is.

When we moved in, it seemed to be working fine as the water was nice and soft, could tell by the soft skin and I tested it before and after using the Hach Total Hardness Test Kit, Model 5-B before treatment, 13 gpg, and after 0 gpg, It's been like that until several months ago.

I started noticing that the water was leaving dry spots on the shower glass door and felt different when taking a shower. So I tested again after taking a shower and the result is 1gpg. I tried changing the settings on the fleck to use 8lbs of salt and set the gallons capacity to 1150 (2 adults and one child). I ran the regeneration, but it doesn't seem to be helping.


Any suggestions to what I can troubleshoot? I've attached (cell phone) photos of the system and set up. Thanks
 
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Last edited by lawrosa; 05-18-17 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Changed header per OP's request
  #2  
Old 05-18-17, 01:13 PM
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Are you on city water or well?

Could be the media is shot from chlorine infiltration..

Mine backwashes every 2 weeks or so.

I soften to zero but some say not to soften that low.

But im on a well..

Edit... oh I see the well tank...lol

When it back washes do you see the salt tank fill with water and then brine and level go back down?

You could have a salt bridge or the venturi may not be sucking the brine out..

Many causes...
 
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Old 05-18-17, 04:01 PM
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Yes I'm on well and I did see the water level in the salt tank go down/up. Now after regeneration I can see the water in the tank. Currently there tank it's half filled with salt. What do you mean by salt bride or venturi, sorry new to all these terms.
 
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Old 05-18-17, 05:05 PM
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Old 05-18-17, 05:07 PM
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Old 05-18-17, 05:14 PM
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salt bridge = crust so that the salt below the crust is used up and the salt above does not drop down.

Water to the drain? when valve is in service is there water going to drain?

How hard is the water after the softener now?
Has the raw hardness changed from the 13?

Standard 9x48 is 1 cubic and if 6lbs salt gives 20k the 8 will give a little more but lets stay with the 20000 grain capacity/13=1538-2251313 so your 1150 is a good number.

It could be that the valve will need a rebuild if there is a leak in the valve body of raw to treated.
Could be.
Simple things first.
 
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Old 05-18-17, 06:22 PM
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After the regeneration the hardness still shows 1gpg. So right now I decided to take a better look at the salt tank ​and started emptying the salt. After taking out about 4" worth, the salt below is as hard as a rock. Not sure if that's how it's supposed to be but I broke it up into slush. I'll run regeneration again and see if that helps.
 

Last edited by midnightdevil66; 05-18-17 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 05-19-17, 09:34 AM
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Will wait a day or so to see if the breakup of the salt helped. According to the troubleshooting document, my next step would be (C - Check brine tank fill time and clean brine line flow control if plugged.) Do I need to buy any parts before I start this task, just in case I need to replace anything. Can you suggest from this photo (http://www.softenerparts.com/v/vspfi...5600eccvda.jpg) what I would need to buy?
 
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Old 05-19-17, 09:46 AM
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Sounds like you may have found the problem, the salt should not be a big clump.

If there was a void in that block then you may have found the salt bridge mentioned.

In the future do not fill the salt tank much above the water line and you will not have that issue in the future.

You also may need to re-gen a couple times over the next few days to get resin bed cleaned out so give it some time before next step.
 
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Old 05-19-17, 09:52 AM
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@Marq1, thanks for the input. I'll run another regen tomorrow and another in few days. Will keep you posted.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 09:50 AM
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OK, I ran a regeneration 4 nights in a row with same results. Yesterday I decided to check the brine tank and the brine line and injector screen. I removed all of the salt and "mush" from the brine tank. I cleaned it and added hot water to dissolve any salt on the brine grit. I checked the brine well tube along with the flow pickup and all seems to be in working order. I did clean it up with warm water. Filled the tank with few gallons of water and added brand new salt (pellets) about 70lbs. When the salt was in the water was just about above the salt in. I took apart the brine control and cleaned the screen. Did not see any major blockage. I took off the injector cover along with the screen and I did clean out sand/rust but it wasn't too bad. I actually opened up water when I had it opened and let the water clean out any debris what was in those orifices, and it did spill out more sand. Put it back together and let it regenerate. I hung around for most of the regen so I did see the brine being siphoned out i brine cycle. However, what I did notice that on the brine fill position, the left over salt did not get even covered with water. The treated water still seems to be as before. I'm wondering if that's part of the issue. Is it not making enough brine to clean out the resin? How long it's it supposed to be filling the tank? What controls the amount of water to be filled in the brine tank? Is it the salt setting? I'm also going to check the BLFC fitting to make sure that there's nothing blocking the water flow to the tank (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i1EVYbNSxI). Any other suggestions you guys have I can do, before I bite the bullet and buy a new softener?
 
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Old 05-23-17, 11:43 PM
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The water does not always have to cover the salt.
If you have not change the setting on the salt wheel then the time is still going to be the same.
Do you even know how old the system is?
It could be that the media is in need of replacement or that the valve might need a rebuild both can be done by the home owner.
There are a few things like an o ring on the pilot tube that could have slipped and water is crossing over .. a seal in the seal spacer bad, a piston that some thing on it so that water is crossing over there.
But if you really wish to be a good consumer then go buy a new one and take this one to the dump and fill it even faster.
 
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Old 05-24-17, 07:52 AM
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@Akpsdvan

I have no idea how old the system is as it was already here when I bought the house. I have no problem rebuilding the valve and replacing the media as I do know a thing or two about being handy. Just asking for suggestions/advice. When you say rebuild the valve, do you have any specific parts in mind that should be replaced? Should I look for anything specific?
 
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Old 05-24-17, 10:19 AM
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Fleck 5600 white end plug and the seal kit for the 5600. When the power head comes off and the metal plate holding the piston in comes off there should be a date stamp as to the age of the valve body. While that part is getting replaced some like to change out the brine piston it is a personal choice, if it still looks good and has no sign of leaks then I would leave it but again some like to have it replaced along with the main piston as a matter of course.
If after a number of regens and the water has not gotten down to 0 then I would first be looking at a cross over of untreated to treated and that most likely is with in the valve because even if the resin is on the outs it should at least get to 0 after back to back cleanings.
Unless there is a boat load of hardness and Iron in the water that has fouled the media bed.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 11:54 PM
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I did see the brine being siphoned out i brine cycle. However, what I did notice that on the brine fill position, the left over salt did not get even covered with water. The treated water still seems to be as before.
So you saw the brine being pulled from the tank, but did the water get replaced?

The water level is controlled by a float inside the brine tank (similar to a toilet) the water line is fixed.
 
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Old 05-27-17, 10:33 AM
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Often the float assembly in the salt tank on a fleck is the backup or safety control. The valve body has a piston for the brine and there is the timer to move a cam to close that piston. If some thing holds that piston open then the float assembly in the tank stops the water.
Depending on the size of the tank and the amount of salt and if there is a table at the bottom of the tank the water at about 2gallons for 6lbs might not come above the salt.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 03:54 PM
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So you saw the brine being pulled from the tank, but did the water get replaced?
Yes, the water did get replaced.


OK, so it seems to me that the salt tank and the valve control are good. Next thing I'm going to replace the resin. I have it on order and will replace this coming weekend and see what happens. Are there any recommended parts I should replace when replacing the resin, or will that suffice? Also, I have a 50 micron whole house filter post softener and it's collecting decent amount of debris. Should I install one before the softener just to minimize on the rust/sand getting into the softener? I'm on well water as you can see in the OP.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 05:18 PM
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I have a 50 micron whole house filter post softener
The filters should be pre, I use 20 micron and change them out every 2 months. They pull a lot of crud that would be flowing into the softener!

You really dont need one pre and post, would recommend moving!
 
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Old 06-07-17, 12:17 PM
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Here's the latest. I replaced the resign over the weekend and moved the 50m filter before the softener. I ran a regen cycle and the water now after taking a shower shows <1 gpg hardness. I mean, when I used the test kit as soon as I added the hardness reagent to the water, it changed to blue color without adding the hardness solution which is supposed to tell you the gpg based on how many drops are added. Even on the test kit itself it specifies that one drop of the solution equals to <1 grains per gallon. So the water is back to the softness that it used to be. Now, this might be just me and my ocd, but when using the water to wash, doesn't matter which bathroom or shower, the water does not leave the silky/slimy feeling on skin. Is that me just be being crazy? Thanks for all your suggestions tips.
 
 

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